They started the year with a loss to Saint Mary's Gaels. A 76-71 set-back that had fans and prognosticators alike dismissing the Red Storm before they even had a chance to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. The losses to St. Bonaventure and the Fordham Rams about a month later didn't inspire much faith that St. John's would be able to turn their season around. People were already picking them to take over the spot that most had assumed Connecticut would hold - last place.
That's when first year head coach Steve Lavin decided that his players weren't hearing what he was telling them. After trailing Davidson by three points at the half on December, 20th, He yelled and cursed his team for the entire break, telling them that if they didn't start playing defense, that they may not be playing basketball again... not for the Red Storm. St. John's came back out, and won a game that is noted for it's lack of offense, the Storm holding Davidson scoreless over the final five finutes of the game.
A win verse Northwestern would come the very next day; and a week later they beat a good West Virginia team on the road. St. John's would then travel to Providence and beat the Friars. The Red Storm was rolling. But, they had a new test; against then ranked #13 Georgetown; a team that was surely feeling a little down after looking bad a few days earlier to Notre Dame. But St. John's persevered, and they took the game to the Hoyas, leading by six at the half, and playing the type of defense their new coach wants out of them, held on for a 61-58 victory. 5 straight wins; four against very quality opponents, and all of a sudden, people are remembering that St. John's still has some talent, and may be a little better than they thought.
"We just needed some time to pull together, and understand coach's system." said St.John's senior D.J. Kennedy
Well, now that they learned the system, they should prepare for their next test: They travel to South Bend, IN to face the last team to beat Georgetown before they did. Then, if they manage that; they get to further test themselves when Syracuse rolls into Madison Square Garden on January 12th.
If the Red Storm can somehow manage to keep winning, there may be a perfect storm brewing for March; a Red Storm.